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All indications are that Lightning coach Rick Tocchet and GM Brian Lawton have been fired



The Tampa Bay Lightning has a 10 a.m. availability with owner Jeff Vinik and also the players. Not included is coach Rick Tocchet and GM Brian Lawton. Doesn't take a lot to figure that both have been fired.

 They are mutually exclusive moves.

Tocchet, since taking over in November 2008 for the fired Barry Melrose was 53-69-12, and the team finished 8-15-2 this season. The losing overshadows the good work Tocchet has done with Steven Stamkos, who in his second season tied Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the Rocket Richard Trophy, and Steve Downie, who had a breakout season with 22 goals and was a team-best plus-14.

Lawton tried to address some of the teams needs with risk-and-reward free-agent signings. And while some worked -- D Kurtis Foster, for instance -- most did not as the team's needs are still basically the same: better goaltending, a scoring wing and stouter defense. He also did little to help the team's playoff chances at the trade deadline. 

It is not expected that the team will immediately name any successors, but it apparently wants a clean slate for the new CEO to work with.


[Last modified: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 12:15am]


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